Monday, July 17, 2006

Speedwell Ave Redevelopment

From the Star Ledger:

A new face for Morristown
BY MAURA McDERMOTT

A strip of aging buildings along Morristown's Speedwell Avenue would be reduced to rubble and in its place would rise a four-story complex of some 700 homes and 50 shops, according to a proposal to be discussed at this week's council meeting.

"It's a whole new face for the community. It's a wonderful opportunity," Mayor Donald Cresitello said. "This is what was anticipated with the Highlands legislation, that cities would be reborn."

But others feel the town needs to proceed carefully.

"The Hispanic community has really led to a renaissance of that area," said Jose Bastarrika, a lawyer whose Speedwell Avenue office lies within the redevelopment zone. "I'm not against redevelopment. I'm not against improvements, particularly as they relate to traffic. But I think the town has to pay attention to a community that's thriving."
...
The roughly $200 million project would displace the occupants of about 90 apartments and 20 small businesses, according to Cresitello. Residents would be relocated by the developer, but shop owners who rent would need to find other quarters on their own, he said.
...
It would provide more than 100 units of affordable housing and about 1,200 underground parking spaces, Cresitello said. Plus, the developer could widen the congested avenue to include four driving lanes and two parking lanes, he said.

The area has been designated "in need of redevelopment," so the town can use its powers of eminent domain to force reluctant property owners to sell.

"Do you let one property owner hold up a $200 million rebirth of the community?" he said. "I don't think so, but some people do."

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Jose Bastarrika, that part of town is pretty busy and I'm surprised the town would be considering moving businesses that are working. They have so many projects in the works now, and headquarters plaza is still pretty dismal inside. I keep worrying that none of these projects will pan out the way they think and the whole town will be like headquarters plaza.

7/17/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger X-Underwriter said...

If they want to build condos, they should build them in the old headquarters plaza building. It's just sitting empty anyhow

7/17/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think that would be a good idea, x-underwiter. I'm not sure why Morristown is so hot on knocking things down and putting up new things in their place. Why not fix up headquarters plaza first? The mall part is depressing and totally unwelcoming. Wasn't that Morristown's first experiement in knocking old buildings down?


I feel like I just complain aobut Morristown all the time, but I really think they need to sit back and figure out how they are going to fill the 800 or so housing things that haven't been built yet before they start adding more, and kicking businesses that people actually shop at.

7/17/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Downtown Morristown, another
wonderful NJ place to be.

7/17/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next Trenton ,,,

7/17/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

widening Speedwell from 2 to 4 lanes is stupid! A thriving neighborhood is one where the pedestrian is king. Why are they caving in to cars to create a busy thoroughfare? This will ruin it all. You can't build your way out of congestion. Besides, should redevelopment be applied only to depressed neighborhoods? Don't think this is the case at all here!!

8/21/2006 08:25:00 AM  

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